HUD AND NORTHERN ILLINOIS LENDER REACH FAIR LENDING SETTLEMENT

Agreement resolves claims of discriminatory lending practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced an agreement with Alpine Bank & Trust resolving allegations the Northern Illinois-based lender discriminated against African American and Hispanic mortgage applicants. HOPE Fair Housing Center of Wheaton, Illinois filed a complaint with HUD claiming the lender’s business service areas excluded majority African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Read the agreement.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person because of race and national origin.

HOPE Fair Housing Center alleged the bank’s lack of a presence in majority African-American and Hispanic communities in the Rockford area made financial products less available to potential applicants based on their race and national origin. The complaint also alleged that of Alpine’s 14 branch locations, only one is in a Census tract that is more than 10 percent African American. In addition, HOPE’s complaint alleged that the lender provided white applicants with better information, and offered them more favorable terms and conditions than African American and Hispanic applicants.

As part of the HUD-mediated settlement, Alpine Bank will:

  • Establish a $1 million loan program to increase mortgage lending to residents in majority African-American and Hispanic areas in the Rockford metropolitan area;
  • Pay $75,000 to HOPE;
  • Offer targeted community outreach to minority areas, including seminars relating to financial literacy, homeownership, and credit counseling, and conduct a direct mailing campaign in majority African-American areas;
  • Provide fair lending training for its mortgage lending staff, and;
  • Research the possibility of opening a new automated services branch in a majority-minority neighborhood in the Rockford metropolitan area.

People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777. Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at
www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.

You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Carson on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.

(202) 708-0685

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws.

Contact:

Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685

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